12 Food Additives to Avoid

We have prepared a list of 12 food additive to avoid. The use of these food additives are commonly to flavor and preserve food despite the health risks they may causing to you and your family. Do you know which ones to watch out for? Here is a list of the most common additives that I always refer to when I go shopping:


  • High Fructose Corn Syrup: the number one weight gaining ingredient which has become so widespread that it’s found in almost all processed foods. It is responsible for raising LDL- the bad cholesterol level and for the development of diabetes, and is added to some cereals, dressings, flavored yogurts, candy, breads, canned vegetables and most processed foods.
  • MSG (Monosodium Glutamate E621): Yet another commonly found flavour enhancer. Found a lot in Asian food, ready meals, soups, stock, chips, dressings and seasonings MSG is a popular flavor enhancer. It is known to effect the neurological system causing a wide range of conditions such headaches, depression, fatigue and obesity as the brain gets tricked not recognizing the “I’m full” signal.
  • Artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame (E951) also known as Equal and Nutrasweet is a neurotoxin and carcinogen which is found in “Diet” and “Sugar free” type products. It’s a toxic sweetener which has been linked to variety of conditions including brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Diabetes, lymphoma, Alzheimer’s, panic attacks and migraines. It is commonly found in diet coke, pudding, ice tea, gelatins, sugar free gum, breathmints, toothpaste, baking goods and tabletop sweeteners just to mention a few, so keep an eye out.
  • Trans Fat: Trans fat is the most dangerous type of fat you can consume as it directly affects LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and decreases the good HDL levels. It is commonly found in processed foods and is linked to a wide range of serious health problems such as heart disease, heart attacks and stokes, diabetes and inflammation. Trans Fat is used to extend shelf life of products, and is formed during the hydrogenation process – a chemical process where liquid vegetable oil is turned into solid fat. Trans fats are prominent in deep-fried foods and processed foods which are made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and margarine.
  • Sodium Sulfite (E221): is a preservative which is used a variety of processed foods and wine-making and is often found in dried fruit. Some people are sensitive to sulfites causing breathing problems and headaches.
  • Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite: is a preservative which is used in meats, but in reality it could just as well belong to the food dye category as it’s what turns meat bright red. How handy, then we can buy old meat which has been neatly recolored to appear fresh! It is commonly used to color, preserve and add flavor to ham, hot dogs, beef, smoked fish, bacon and other processed meats. It is a highly toxic ingredient which is carcinogenic.
  • Potassium Bromate: Found in breads and used to increase volume in white flour. Known to cause cancer in animals.
  • Sulfur Dioxide (E220): Commonly found in cordials, wine, vinegar, dried fruit, juices, soft drinks and beer this additive destroys vitamin B1 and E and is linked to a variety of conditions such as asthma and hypertension.
  • Food Dyes: It’s sad that even the color of food needs to somehow be adjusted, and once again with things which are harmful to our health in the form of food colorings. Food dyes are commonly found in bakery products, fruit juices, soda, ice creams and lollies and even pet foods, and various studies have linked food colorings to cancers and chromosomal damages. Common dyes to watch out for: Blue #1 and blue #2 (E133), Red dye #3 and Red #40 (E124), Yellow #6 (E110), Yellow Tartrazine (E102).
  • BHA & BHT (E320): Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydrozyttoluene are preservatives which are found in things such as potato chips, vegetables oils, cereals, candy and jello just to mention a few. They prevent food from changing color or going rancid, and effect the neurological system of the brain. Have been linked to cancer.
  • Propyl Gallate is another preservative which is sometimes found in chewing gum, meat products and chicken soup bases. It is often used in conjunction with BHA & BHT and may also be cancer causing.
  • Olestra is synthetic fat found in some potato chip brands which can cause severe diarrhea, gas and abdominal cramps.
  • Acesulfame-K is a relatively new artificial sweetener found in gelatin desserts, chewing gum and baked goods. There is concern that this sweetener may be linked to cancer.

Sources: Foodmatters | Dr Mercola

Healthy Living Hub

Healthy Living Hub

Healthy living hub enthusiasts are passionate about well-being and healthy lifestyles, and we aim to help people return to their best by motivating and promoting simple changes in lifestyle and food habits. We encourage the mind body connection and believe in an all-round approach to health and personal well-being.
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